Google Maps just had its 15th birthday. This post from one of the original team on Maps back in 2005, Elizabeth Reid, reflects on a history of the product from its first iteration.
On Feb 8, 2005, Google Maps was first launched for desktop as a new solution to help people “get from point A to point B.” Today, Google Maps is used by more than 1 billion people all over the world every month.
It was the early days of Web 2.0, and Google’s launch of the Maps API was one of the keys to the “mashup” movement that sparked a new wave of startups.
As a geographer, Google Maps and Earth are tools I use every day, both for fun and work. Maps is likely up there with Wikipedia at the top of my web visit history over the last 15 years.
Hard to believe they launched Street View all the way back in 2007. Today it still surprises me how much data that’s been collected, and the amazing feeling of zooming into any place to see it from the ground level.